The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is currently implementing a five year Micro Reform for African Agriculture Business (MIRA) project in five countries including Ethiopia, which is designed to help to build the capacity of African governments to contentiously review and reform regulations that unintentionally limit private investment in local agribusinesses operating in Ethiopia.
As part of its support to Ethiopia, AGRA’s Policy and Advocacy Programme (PAP) provided a grant support to the Ethiopian Seed Association (ESA) to build local capacity in the improvement of the enabling environment for the private seed sector development in Ethiopia. In accordance, as part of the initial activities of the project, AGRA supported one study helps to identify key policies, regulations, administrative practices, institutional setups and any other investment disincentives such as duties and taxes, etc that limit the growth of private seed sector in Ethiopia and come up with viable set of reform solutions to address the challenges, and hence the draft study was submitted for which a one day validation workshop was organized on Mach 3, 2018, to evaluate the draft document report in a wider stakeholder forum as feed back to the study to get finalized.
Chairperson of ESA, Mr. Melaku Admassu, welcomed the participants and acknowledged the support of MIRA AGRA project, emphasized the focus of the workshop and highlighted the challenges faced. Mr. Mengesha Tadesse, AGRA- MIRA National Coordinator at ATA, also summarized AGRA’s support to the Ethiopian agriculture and introduced the background and objectives of the grant support to the Ethiopian Seed Association. Then, key findings of the study related to priority challenges and recommendations were presented based on which the stakeholders/participants thoroughly discussed on the specific presentation followed by group discussion that improved the recommendations.
Objectives of the workshop:
- to share the draft study to the stakeholders who contributed their input in the data collection stages
- to collect feedback and inputs to further refine the recommendations, the priority policy and regulatory challenges and alternative solutions, focusing on issues that encourage local and foreign seed companies to invest in the seed sector that subsequently strengthen the seed business and facilitate the supply of certified seed to small holder farmers.
- to validate and finally agree on problems those need to be reformed and reach on a consensus on the impact/significance of the reform on the development of the national seed industry.
A total of 40 stakeholders that included members of the Ethiopian Seed Association, Cooperative Unions, policy makers from Ministry of Agriculture & Natural Resources and experts from four National Regional States and from the development partners (BENEFIT-ISSD, ICARDA, AGRA, ATA and CYMMIT, FAO, Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity, Ethiopian Agriculture Research Institute) attended and thoroughly discussed internal and external issues and identified recent challenges in the sector which should be covered in the recommendation.